A special team of West Jaintia Hills Police rescued seven endangered Great Indian hornbill birds at Jowai Bypass in Meghalaya.
The birds, protected under the Schedule I of Wild Life (Protection) Act, were rescued from a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) with registration number MZ O1R 0463. The police have arrested the driver of the vehicle.
The wildlife trafficker has been identified as N.K Thangtea (22), a resident of Aizawl in Mizoram.
He was arrested in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district for allegedly trying to smuggle seven endangered hornbill birds on Tuesday.
NK Thangte’s vehicle was intercepted on National Highway 6 when he was transporting the birds from Mizoram to Guwahati in Assam.
On searching the vehicle, seven hornbill birds were found in three plastic cages which were covered with cartons on the top.
These birds were meant for trafficking as no legal documents could be produced for their transportation. Later, the birds were handed over to wildlife officials.
Minister James K Sangma said the rise of wildlife trafficking in Meghalaya is a worrying trend, threatening endangered species.
Wildlife trafficking threatens security, hinders economic development, and undermines the rule of law. The illicit trade in wildlife is decimating many species worldwide and threatens iconic species.
Laws and regulations on wildlife trafficking vary from country to country.
Offences relating to wildlife trafficking cover a wide range of conduct and circumstances. Some offences concern protected species while others relate to protected areas. Offences may relate to different stages and activities of wildlife trafficking, such as poaching, processing, exporting, importing and selling.
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